TIME AND THE CLOCK MICE, ETCETERA by Peter Dickinson

TIME AND THE CLOCK MICE, ETCETERA

Age Range: 8 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Dickinson brings to this lighthearted, intricately crafted book several of his themes in such books for older readers as A Bone from a Dry Sea (1993): the relative meaning of time, the hazards of equating ability with virtue, and the joy of innovation. Branton's 99-year-old Town Hall clock, an elaborate tourist attraction featuring moving seasonal figures for each quarter-hour, has stopped. Summoned to repair it, its maker's grandson discovers living in it a community of tidy, intelligent mice. In 20 ``essays'' (e.g., ``Second Essay on Mice''), with rotating series on clocks, people, cats, bells, and even science, the old man describes in pungent detail precisely what ails the clock, his acquaintance with the friendly mice (they communicate telepathically, with pictures), and some curious interactions with his own cousins. In the end, after he foolishly betrays the existence of the mice, he works out a complicated scheme to save them from captivity. It works, but not before he learns that their moral generosity exceeds his own. Meanwhile, illustrator ``Emma'' (as the narrator refers to her) visualizes everything- -including pictorial mouse communication and clockworks--in her usual witty style. Unique, charming, and thoughtful, too--this could become a classic. (Fiction. 8+)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-385-32038-8
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1994




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